The difference between a stepping stone and a stumbling block lies in when you see it, how you see it, and your reaction to it when it presents itself. In a word, it’s all about perception. If you see it correctly, you’ll say it’s a stepping stone. If it blindsides you, you might consider it a stumbling block. Though they seem to be polar opposites, in truth, the stepping stone and the stumbling block are one and the same thing.

Have you ever made a mistake even though you saw it coming? Have you ever yielded to sin though you could see the warning signs far ahead in the distance? Don’t you wish you could turn frequent failures into resounding victories? If you’ve ever allowed a careless word to get the best of you or allowed job pressures to trigger an angry reaction, then you can relate. How can we as Christians avoid these stumbling blocks and use them as stepping stones?

First, practice discretion — learn to see an obstacle before you reach it. Being able to see a potentially volatile situation before it occurs can help one avoid it altogether. Next, when you see the impending obstacle, determine to see it as God does — as a test designed to enhance your spiritual growth. Finally, when the inevitable happens, commit the matter to God completely. He will give you strength to maintain your testimony in the heat of the moment.

Choose to turn today’s stumbling blocks into stepping stones through which God receives glory.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.